Wallpapering for Dummies

Whilst it might seem intimidating initially, learning to hang wallpaper is a great skill to have, and it’ll save you a packet in terms of trade fees. That’s why we joined forces with the Homebase wallpaper range to bring you this guide to wallpapering made easy:

patterned wallpaper is a great way to freshen up a room! and with a crisp white comforter...swoon
image via

Prepare the area. Once you’ve finished using your wallpaper design tool and you’re ready to go. It’s wise to get as much furniture out of the room as possible (as a precaution as much as anything else), and to then cover the floor with a drop cloth. You’ll also need to clear the walls of pictures, nails, outlet covers and the like. Finally, turn off the power to any of the outlets or switches in the room (for obvious reasons!).

Remove blemishes. Blemishes such as paint spatters will show up more underneath wallpaper, so either sand down external bumps, or fill depressions in with drywall compound.
Prepare the walls. Firstly, paint the top corners of the wall with ceiling paint to eliminate any really obvious differences between the wall and the wallpaper itself.  Following that, apply sizing to make the wallpaper easier to install. Then, you’ll need to prime the walls with an oil-based primer – this is especially the case if you’re adding to a new space. Drywall that’s not been treated before will gobble up the moisture from the adhesive!

Measure and cut the paper appropriately. This is as easy as it sounds, but it’s important to remember to cut the length around 6 inches longer than the wall. Also, add about half an inch to the panels that are to go around the inside corner. (These will be overlapped in what is known as a lap seam).
Water the paper. Once they’ve been cut out, the pieces of wallpaper should be rolled up and immersed in lukewarm water for around 15 seconds (or until all of the air bubbles have escaped.


Activate the adhesive. Though it might sound like a Dalek instruction (‘activaaate the adhesiiive!’), this is an important part of the process. Fold both ends of the panel towards the middle, paste side in. This both activates the paste and helps to evenly distribute it across the panel. If you want to save time, you can ‘book’ several pieces at once and store them in a plastic bag within the room until they need to be used.

Mark the wall and add the first piece. Go for the least conspicuous corner, and mark the wall at a quarter of an inch less than the width of the paper itself. Draw a plumb line down the length of the wall from this point. This will mean you can now un-book the first sheet and press the top part to the ceiling edge. Make sure that the panel is flush with the plumb line (that’s why it’s there!). Avoid stretching the panel at all – this could kick the pattern or the seam out of alignment.
Smooth it out and check for wrinkles. Once the first piece has gone up, use a wallpaper brush or broad knife to smooth it out and remove any wrinkles (vertical strokes, though – horizontal ones can stretch the panel). If any excess glue comes out of the edge, wipe it away using a wallpaper sponge. You can then hang the other pieces using the same process.

Trim the edges. Trim off the excess couple of inches using a wide straight-edge and a sharp utility knife. Once this has been done and the remaining paper pressed down, leave the paper for fifteen minutes and return to press the seams together using a wallpaper roller.

 This is a guest post written by Ella Mason, an experienced freelance writer with a love for blogging and all things social media!


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